Confirming Lies (Lie Detection Techniques)

25 04 2008

There are no universal indicators of lying. Polygraph machines result to errors because they can be tricked or handled improperly. Certain traits such as having shifty eyes and wobbly movements of body parts do not necessarily indicate lying. However, such traits when taken relative to an individual’s personal habits and qualities can confirm the truth or lie. You can do much better if you know the person.

So how can you tell if a person you know is lying? Start with the “base behavior” and start comparing. Look for changes and disparities that are unusual. Or maybe, create situations to bring them in the open. The techniques below should help but be aware that one or two could fail sometimes, you should use several indicators and even repeatedly prior to a conjecture of lie.

· Watch out for the person’s use of your words. Using your exact words to respond can be an indication of lying. You say, for example, “Did you leave this here?” and they respond, “No, I did not leave this here.”

· Determine the desire to stay away from a topic, which will sometimes signify deceit or remorse. If you suppose the person is lying, change the subject quickly and he will often go along easily, and may even visibly relax. An innocent person is expected to be slightly baffled by the change and would want to finish his thoughts.

· Propose something that would make a liar feel uncomfortable and watch for a reaction. If your brother says he was at the school, and you think he is lying. Rather than saying, “I’m calling your teacher to verify this,” you could use a subtle approach. You might say, “That reminds me, I’m going to drop by your school today to pay your tuition fees.” If he was lying, the idea of you dropping by his school should make him nervous. He may give you reasons why you shouldn’t go there.

· Over-compensation. Often when people lie, they try too hard to be spontaneous and natural, and they give more details than is essential.

· Forced smiles. A real smile involves more muscles, while a forced smile will use just the muscles around the mouth. The lie here may only be about their feelings, of course.

· Let them talk. The more a person talks, the more likely you are to catch them in a lie (if they are being dishonest), especially when you learn the indications to watch for. The use of un-contracted words may reveal something. A lack of contractions is more common when lying. For example, instead of saying “I didn’t sleep with her,” a man might say,” I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

· Watch the eyes, and any body movements. Start by asking a question to which you know the truth, but he is likely to lie about. If he does lie, watch those eyes and hand and anything else. If he tells the truth, you’ll just have to try again with a new question. Do this at least several times to be sure that any indicators are reliable. Ask a hard-hitting question or two that he will tell the truth about too, to see if he reacts the same under stress, or only when lying. You can also watch as he lies to others on the phone or in person. With time and careful observation, you might find some consistent indicators. He takes a deep breath when he is being dishonest. He might stop breathing for a moment. He might bite his nails. Or he might have lying eyes.

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